3 Secrets Behind Successful Grapplers

After a lifetime of training & coaching, I can spot beginners who are quickly going to become talented and successful with their training…

… and those who probably won’t, and I can do it within their first 30 days. These are the 3 tell-tale signs:

1 – No “Dip my toes in the water” attitude
2 – Their First 30 Days
3 – Their Morning routine

Here’s what I consistently see…

#1 No “Dip my toes in the water” attitude

The majority of the guys I’ve trained who quickly became talented did NOT just “dip their toes in the water”.

Underwater Diver

There wasn’t an early attitude of “let me just try this stuff out and see what I think” or “maybe I’ll take tonight off and go on Thursday.” On the contrary…

…rather than dipping their toes in the water, they threw themselves into the water head first, tied to an anchor that’s going to take them 1,000 feet deep and have no intention of coming up for air..

They are completely committed from the start. They are hungry, want it so bad they can taste it in their spit, and there’s no way in hell anyone’s going to tell them they aren’t going to succeed.

Why it happens: That “all-in” attitude breeds early successes… which feeds more positivity & motivation back into them… causing even more successes… and it continues in a never ending, upward spiraling loop.

2 – The First 30 Days of Training

The first 30 days of training is like a crystal ball. If someone goes all in for 30 days, I rarely see them quit in the next few months. If anything, they just get more and more committed to their training and improve faster than normal.

Conversely, if the person has a sluggish, stop-and-start first month of training, the next few months often see them quitting, or at best having a real lack-luster few months and often just fizzling out shortly afterward.

Why it happens: Habits take 30 days to create. After you have a habit, it’s effortless and infinitely easier to maintain than something you agonize over or have to force yourself to do.

That first 30 days habit then carries forward making the next 30 days effortless, which in turn sets the stage for an easy 30 days after that, and it goes on and on.

It’s like getting a merry-go-round started. That initial push is hard, but if you keep pushing early on and don’t stop, you get tremendous momentum that requires little effor to keep going.

#3 – The Morning Routine

It’s not always the case, but the guys who train first thing in the morning (at home or in the gym), rather than saving it for later in the day, seem to improve faster, have more excitement about their training and show more consistency and commitment.

They just seem to have training on their mind and “live it” more than everyone else

Why it happens: Similar to the first 30 days phenomenon, your morning training sets the stage for the rest of the day.

Whatever you do in the morning gets put “front and center” in your mind. It tells your brain that it’s important, rather than an afterthought that can be put off until later… or possibly not done at all if you get too tired or lack motivation in the evening.

You’ve probably noticed that if you wake up and check your social media accounts, email or texts first thing in the morning…

…you’re likely to keep checking them more and more through the day. And it’s the same with grappling training. If you focus on it early, your mind is more likely to go back to it over and over throughout the day.

Ok, There Are Exceptions…

I’m not saying that anyone who doesn’t have these 3 traits from the start will never become good. As a coach, I would always try to create a small spark of enthusiasm in even the most UNMOTIVATED guys…

…and see if I could gradually fan that into a bit of a flame, then ultimately a roaring fire. And many times it happens.

But, even with those guys, they eventually have to go through a period where they stop “Dipping their toes in” and dive into the deep end.

And, they go through an extended period of hitting it hard consistently (at least 30 days) to build new training habits.

And they often move their training time to early in the day to make sure it never gets pushed to the side due to pressing things that come up later in the day.

The takeaway, beginner or not…

If you want to achieve higher levels, go all in and stay there. If training feels like hard effort, do 30 days of consistent training to make it a habit and feel effortless.

If grappling is an afterthought in your day, move it to the beginning of your day so it sets the tone for your day and gives it the attention it deserves.

Keep training!
Bob Dorris